Well, I’ve got some fantastic news for you.
The kerbside collection of recycling will resume in Wellington next Tuesday, the 12th of May - but the scenarios will differ depending on the Government’s Alert Level status announcement on Monday.
Regardless of the decision we will restart glass collection. For the time being it will not be hand sorted at the kerb by our contractor’s truck operators. It will be sent to Auckland for processing without any physical contact with staff.
For other mixed recycling (plastics, paper, metals) collected from your wheelie bins or recycling bags, if the Government announces a shift to Level 2, these kerbside recycling collections and recycling processing will resume.
However, if the announcement is an extended Level 3, the Oji regional sorting facility at Seaview will remain closed. This means it will not be possible to process mixed recycling, but for those who want to put their stockpiled recycling out for collection, our contractors will be restarting their collection services regardless.
That means any recyclable material collected at Level 3 will be disposed of at the Southern Landfill as there is nowhere for these materials to be safely stockpiled in the meantime. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen – I know we all want to do our bit by keeping material out of the landfill.
However if Cabinet decides we are moving to Alert Level 2, then the Oji regional sorting facility will be able to reopen which will be great news for all of us keen recyclers.
Regardless of Alert Level 3 or 2, collections will be on the same days and the same recyclable items will be picked up as they were prior to lockdown.
Where collections would usually be on Monday 11 May, these will be collected on Saturday 16 May to ensure you don’t miss out.
Most of us will have forgotten whether it is wheelie bin / recycling bag week, or whether it is glass crate week. You can look up your property on https://wellington.govt.nz/services/environment-and-waste/rubbish-and-recycling/when-to-put-out-your-rubbish-and-recycling
Only official recycling bags, wheelie bins and glass crates will be collected. The exception to this is that neatly bundled cardboard will be collected if placed beside your bags or bins.
We will be putting some additional trucks on to progressively help collect the backlog. Requiring the use of official bags, wheelie bins and glass crates only will help prevent the capacity of the trucks and the Oji plant from being overwhelmed - and minimise the amount going to landfill.
If you have a lot of recycling, putting it out in stages will help us to manage volumes. If you don’t want to have your mixed recycling collected and taken to landfill if Level 3 is extended, please continue to clean it thoroughly and hold onto it if possible until Level 2, when the recycling sorting plant will open.
Free packs of recycling bag deliveries will restart, for those households that usually receive them, with an estimated distribution time of 6 weeks.
We have had more queries about recycling than any other Wellington City Council service since lockdown started, so we’re really pleased to be heading in the right direction. It’s also great that Wellingtonians are such passionate recyclers.
Wellington, have a fantastic weekend, I’ll be back for another update on Monday – when hopefully we’ll get the good news we’re all hoping for. If that’s the case we’ll have a lot more news on Council services.